Market Overview

Blackloud, Tempo Semi & Silicon Labs Collaborate to Announce Industry's First Headsets Offering FM Radio without Internet Connectivity or Smartphone FM Chips


Blackloud SOUNDOT AF1 & CF1 allow consumers to listen to their music or FM radio on smartphones or tablets even without embedded FM chips

AUSTIN, Texas (PRWEB) April 05, 2018

Blackloud, working with design partners Tempo Semiconductor Inc. (TSI) and Silicon Labs (SLAB) who provided turnkey audio design solutions, will announce its SOUNDOT AF1 (for iPhones and iPads using the Lightning interface) and CF1 (for devices with USB-C / USB Micro interfaces) headsets at the NAB Show (booth N6220) being held in Las Vegas April 7 – 12. With dedicated iOS and Android apps and their own FM reception chip, the headsets not only provide premium lossless sound quality for everyday listening, but also free access to FM radio anywhere in the world, even if the smartphone lacks an embedded FM chip or has one that isn't activated, or if the user is without Internet (Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE) connectivity.

Listening to FM radio using an FM chip embedded in a phone or in these new headsets, instead of over the Internet, saves valuable mobile data and battery life. Further, in times of crisis when cell towers fail and / or networks are overloaded, FM radio can be a lifeline to emergency information.

Blackloud SOUNDOT AF1 and CFI headsets:
The headsets feature patented psychoacoustic technology, a six-band customizable graphic equalizer, 3D stereo effect, dual dynamic driver design, inline microphone, and a control box with a volume up (+), volume down (-) and multifunction (pause/play) button. This multifunction button enables many actions depending on the app that is running, including: answer / hang up a phone / video call, start / stop recording or playback using most any audio / video / camera app, enable / disable / seek up / down the FM tuner, and lastly, activate Siri or Google Assistant.

The accompanying apps let users control the digital FM tuner (seek previous / next, tune to exact station, save any station to one of six presets) and adjust DSP settings (six-band graphic equalizer, psychoacoustic bass and treble enhancements, 3D sound effects) to user preferences.

"Having a comprehensive technology solution from Tempo and Silicon Labs cut our time to market and let us focus on the aesthetics, patented mechanical design, acoustics, fine-tuning our dual dynamic driver design and developing user-friendly iOS and Android apps for the SOUNDOT headset family," said Mr. Yen, executive vice president, Blackloud.

Tempo Semiconductor and Silicon Labs collaborated on turnkey audio design solutions:
Tempo leveraged its headset reference designs (for Apple® MFi™ Lightning and USB-C) to incorporate the FM reception chip (Silicon Labs Si4705 FM / RDS digital radio tuner) into the SOUNDOT control box. Tempo also supplied complete schematics and layout reference files, customized microcontroller code for the Tempo TSCT8x Audio Hub Controller, a high-efficiency TSCS25xx premium 32-bit audio codec with integrated DSP, and reference iOS and Android app source code. Silicon Labs also supplied its brand new CP2615 USB Audio Bridge for the CF1.

"Consumers no longer have to worry if their mobile phone even has an embedded FM chip, or whether it's been activated," said David Grant, director of marketing for Tempo Semiconductor. "They can now enjoy free FM radio on all Android and Apple Lightning devices."

"By enabling free access to FM radio, Blackloud's new headsets provide an invaluable service to listeners everywhere who may not have Internet connectivity," said Juan Revilla, marketing director for Broadcast Products at Silicon Labs. "We're proud to help enable this broadcast radio innovation by collaborating with our ecosystem partner Tempo and providing best-in-class digital radio tuners and USB audio bridge chips."

Pricing and Availability:
Taking advantage of its presence at the NAB show, Blackloud on April 7th will begin taking pre-orders of its SOUNDOT AF1 and CF1 for US $59.89, or about 25% off the list price of US$79.89. The pre-order special will last all of April, and applies to orders placed both at the show and online at from customers worldwide. Initial units, which will be red, are expected to ship as follows: AF1 on May 7th and CF1 in June. White and silver options will become available later this summer.

About Tempo Semiconductor:
Headquartered in Austin, TX, Tempo Semiconductor Inc. (TSI) is a privately held company that formed through a 2013 acquisition of IDT's Audio Business Unit. TSI develops system-level, turnkey solutions that optimize its customers' audio or voice applications. TSI is expanding this base of audio products, and delivering energy-efficient, high-fidelity, mixed signal semiconductor solutions to the portable audio accessory market, voice-activated assistant market, and EPC / IIoT / SBC market. TSI has design, manufacturing, marketing and sales facilities throughout the world.

About Silicon Labs:
Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB) is a leading provider of silicon, software and solutions for a smarter, more connected world. Our award-winning technologies are shaping the future of the Internet of Things, Internet infrastructure, industrial automation, consumer and automotive markets. Our world-class engineering team creates products focused on performance, energy savings, connectivity and simplicity.

BLACKLOUD® is a leading innovator in both wireless and wired technology specializing in cutting-edge electronic products. Headquartered in Walnut, California, Blackloud is committed to research, innovation, and design to develop its diverse product range, including everything from network cameras to premium wired and wireless headphones.

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Notes to editors:
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TSI and the TSI logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tempo Semiconductor Inc. Silicon Labs, Silicon Laboratories, the "S" symbol, the Silicon Laboratories logo and the Silicon Labs logo are trademarks of Silicon Laboratories Inc. All other brands, product names and marks may be trademarks or registered trademarks to identify products of their respective owners.

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